The Love and Nature Lyrics by Bohuslaus Hassensteinius of Lobkowicz in the Contemporary Context

Citation VACULÍNOVÁ, Marta. The Love and Nature Lyrics by Bohuslaus Hassensteinius of Lobkowicz in the Contemporary Context. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 1999, 44(1-4). ISSN 0036-5351. Also available from:
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 1999/44/1-4

Bohuslaus Hassensteinius of Lobkowicz (1461–1510), one of the leading Central European humanists of his time, was in a contact with many other scholars. It is well known that he had a library of an extraordinary richness and quality, which included mostly the books in Latin and even in Greek. This dissertation tries to investigate the influence of his contacts and readings on his love and nature lyrics. This part of his work is chosen because of restricted time period allowed for the dissertation. The dissertation concentrates on authors, with whom he had corresponded, and on personalities, he had met during his travels and his court waiting and particularly on the authors of the books from his library. The library plays an important role in this research. Also the list containing a part called “Poetae” edited by Thomas Mitis 60 years after Hassensteinius’ death appears to be very helpful source. Of no lesser significance was a possibility to read the major part of the poetical works included in this list in the exemplars originated from the Bohuslaus’ own library and preserved in the Roudnice Lobkowicz Library. After analysis of poetical works in Hassensteinius’ library a short catalogue of the motives and topoi follows. It is composed based on the reading of the mentioned sources and other supplied books, particularly books of poetry reflecting the love or nature lyrics, in comparison to the selected Hassensteinius’ poems. Bohuslaus Hassensteinius derived his topics from the ancient literature and from the Latin works of the Italian humanists. In his motive selection and elaboration he is closer to the authors, to whom he had some personal relations, e.g. Balbus or Celtes. Hassensteinius’ love lyrics is specific in its pointing out the virtue of chanted lady and its superordination over the woman’s beauty prised by his contemporaries and ancestors. The poet brings into his love lyrics the moralizing touch, which is not very common in the contemporary love poetry. This moralizing runs through all his writings. The amount of books of the moralizing literature in his library and his own prose complete the sketch of his intellectual intent. There is also a question of the petrarchism in Hassensteinius’ poems addressed to Charlotte (Carlota). We suppose that (if he really was influenced by petrarchism) it was caused by his lecture of the Latin lyrics of the Italian humanists, Panfilo Sasso etc. Regarding to these authors it is not always possible to distinguish petrarchism and catullan style, to which the influences of other Italian poetical schools access, too. In the nature lyrics represented especially by the singular motives of the nature, Bohuslaus doesn’t vary from his contemporaries and is not of a special originality. It is possible to say that the description of the nature didn’t very much conform to his personality.

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